The Amazing World Of Gumball

, , , , , | Right | September 15, 2020

I’ve worked at a video store for years. Many people try to lie to try to get out of late fees, but this was a one-time incident.

We have a gumball machine in the store. Like in many convenience or video stores, a certain-colored gumball — in our case, white — yields something free: a movie rental, for our store.

A kid, about twelve, who I know has stolen games from us and therefore won’t be allowed to rent anyway, walks up to the gumball machine. After casting a furtive glance at me over his shoulder — I pretty much death-glare into his soul — he pretends, very blatantly, to put a quarter in the machine and turns the knob. He waits about two seconds before turning to me.

Customer: “Yes! I got a white gum! I’m gonna go pick out my movie, okay? Can you put the credit on my account?

Me: “That’s fine, but where’s the gumball? I just need to see it for a moment before you chew it.”

Customer: “I already ate it, see?”

He opens his mouth; he has a well-chewed and very small piece of gum in his mouth.

Me: “Yeah, I can say with some certainty that you already had that gum. Nice try, though.”

Customer: “What? I just put it in my mouth! This store is such a rip-off. You should take that sign down about winning a free rental since it’s a lie. I’m gonna get my mom to call and tell the boss about you!”

My patience has evaporated.

Me: “Your mom’s account is under [Customer]. You have two XBox 360 games rented a year ago that never came back. I have a really good memory, but even if I didn’t, it would show when you tried to rent, so I can’t rent to you anyway.”

Customer: “Oh, yeah, we took [Game #1] and [Game #2] from here. What if I bring them back? I live like two minutes away and they’re in my room.”

Me: “So, you’re admitting you still have the games, and apparently, you have willfully held onto them after dozens of phone calls about them being late. I’m fairly certain you should leave now.”

The customer took off running, full-speed. That was two years ago; he hasn’t shown his face since.

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It Sounds Crazy On Paper

, , , | Right | September 2, 2020

I am working customer service, which includes answering the phone. It is a rule in our store if someone calls and asks for the manager to ask why, because frequently their problem or question is not something they actually need the manager for.

The phone rings; it’s an older sounding male.

Me: “Hello, [Store]; how can I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, hi, I’d like to speak with your store manager.”

Me: “Well, he’s not actually in right now, but—”

Caller: *Cutting me off* “Another manager, then. There must be someone there!”

Me: “Yes, sir, of course, there is. Can I just ask why you need a manager?”

Caller: “Well, I guess I might as well just tell you, then!”

Me: “Okay?”

The caller proceeds to spend nearly ten minutes complaining about the fact that ever since his wife died seven years ago, he’s been getting letters in the mail in her name, even though he’s contacted them to stop. The letters are from a charity organization that he says our store sponsors. I try to explain that even if we sponsor them, we cannot control what mail they send out, and he needs to talk to them to stop them sending him letters.

Caller: “I know you can’t make them stop; that’s not why I’m calling!”

Me: *Slightly confused* “Okay… Why are you calling, then?”

Caller: “Because it’s a waste of paper! Haven’t you been listening? They’ve been sending me letters for seven years! I don’t want them, so it’s just a huge waste of paper and money! They’re killing trees!”

Me: “I understand why you’re upset; that is definitely an awful waste of paper. But why are you calling us instead of [Charity Organization]?”

Caller: “Because you support them! And they’re wasting money sending letters to people who aren’t interested! They could be putting all that money to much better use. I just want you to tell your managers that what they’re supporting is a huge waste of money and they should sponsor someone else who doesn’t kill trees! Just tell them to call me back as soon as possible!”

He gives me his phone number and then hangs up on me. Sometime during the conversation, a customer has come up to the desk.

Customer: “What was that all about? You looked really confused.”

Me: “This guy basically just spent ten minutes ranting at me that another company has been killing trees and wasting money by sending letters to his dead wife.”

Customer: “What?”

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Unfiltered Story #204335

, , , | Unfiltered | August 7, 2020

(This happened several years back. I was working the front cash at a popular fast food restaurant one evening when an elderly lady comes in. At first she seemed very congenial)

Me: How can we help you tonight, ma’am.

Lady: I would like one of your [name of deal] deals, please.

Me: (confused) I don’t believe we have a deal by that name, Ma’am.

Lady: Yes, you do. My husband was here earlier today and got it. He told me it was the [name] deal.

Me: Ma’am, I assure you, we don’t have a deal by that name. We do have THIS deal though. (I point to a poster near the cash register advertising a completely different deal)

Lady: (looking at the poster) No, that’s not it. I don’t know what the problem is. My husband was here earlier today and got this deal. He told me specifically that it was called the [name] deal. So that’s what I want. (By this time she has started to raise her voice, and that’s only the beginning) Why are you lying to me?

Me: I assure you, I am not lying to you. THIS is the only deal we have on right now.

Lady: No, it’s not!

(I’ll avoid a lot of repetition here and just say that this went back and forth for several more minutes until the lady was just short of screaming at me, then eventually calling me stupid, before she finally stormed out)

Co-Worker: (coming up front from his post at the grill) What was that all about?

Me: She kept asking for a deal that we don’t have here, and wouldn’t accept the truth from me.

Co-Worker: What was the name of the deal?

Me: A [name] deal.

Co-Worker: Oh, that’s [another popular fast food restaurant]!

Time Is Very Little Money

, , , , , | Right | August 5, 2020

I’m picking up some assorted foods at the local big box grocery store on my way home from a meeting. I recall my wife has asked me to pick up a roll of “that sushi with the fake crab and the avocado,” i.e., a California roll.

As I pick up an avocado roll for myself along with her California roll, I notice a sign advertising sushi as 10% off. When I get to the checkout, I notice — on the screen, before I’ve paid — that the California roll has rung in as 10% off, but the avocado roll didn’t. When pointing this out to the cashier, she quite politely informs me:

Cashier: “I’m not sure why that happened, but I can get my supervisor to check into it.”

Me: “It’s forty-two cents on a $60 grocery bill. I think I’ll survive.”

She looks at me as if I have three heads.

Cashier: “I wish I had more customers like you. I once had a customer tie me up for half an hour over a nickel, and she ended up being wrong in the end.”

Minimum wage in Nova Scotia is $10.15 an hour, making my $0.42 worth a maximum of four minutes if you take income taxes into account. That woman’s nickel was worth about thirty seconds, not thirty minutes.

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An Ice-Cold Attitude, Part 2

, , , | Right | July 30, 2020

It’s 5:30 am and I’m working in the drive-thru. I brew pots of coffee around 5:00 am. We time our coffee to be fresh for an hour, so my pots of coffee are still piping hot and fresh for another half an hour. Our drive-thru opens an hour before our lobby does.

I hand my customers the two coffees that they’ve ordered.

Customer: “I don’t mean to be rude, but my coffee is cold every f****** morning.”

These customers are regulars and come in every morning around this time. Since our coffee is still hot enough to burn even after it’s stopped being fresh, I find this hard to believe.

Me: “I’m sorry about that, ma’am. That coffee, however, still has about thirty minutes left until it goes bad. I assure you it’s very hot.”

Customer: “Well, it doesn’t feel hot through the cup and it’s ice-cold every f****** morning.”

Our cups come premade to be double cupped. I explain to the woman about when I brewed her coffee and how long it’s good for. She drives away. Suddenly, someone bangs on my lobby door. My manager unlocks the door and lets in the customer that just drove away.

Customer: “I just ordered this coffee and it’s f****** cold, and that little b**** was really d*** rude to me when I told her it was cold!”

Manager: “I’m very sorry about that, ma’am.”

Customer: “I want her name and I want you to fire her right now!”

My manager calmed her down enough to make her accept that we would instead brew her a new pot and give her two new coffees for free. I did this as quickly as possible and braced myself for the worst when I walked to the counter to give them to her… only to find that she couldn’t be bothered to wait two minutes to get what she wanted. I guess her “ice-cold coffee” was good enough, after all.

An Ice-Cold Attitude

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